Bria brings victory to North Queensland

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17 year old JLEP trainee, Bria bestowed two prestigious awards from Queensland Training.

July 18 2017

Bria hard at work at TAIHS with CEO of Connect 'n' Grow, Michael Gleadow. 

17-year-old JLEP Trainee Bria has won both the North Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year award as well as North Queensland School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year award from Queensland Training

To be eligible for these prestigious state awards, Bria had to not only display her career and study achievements, she had to demonstrate her communication, team and leadership skills. The national award winners will be announced September 1 2017. 

Bria’s achievements so far are numerous. In 2016 Bria completed a Certificate II in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care with Connect ‘n’ Grow, supported by the Seed Foundation. This helped her secure a traineeship through Project Outback at Townsville Aboriginal and Islanders Health Services (TAIHS) clinic in Garbutt, North Queensland.

Rachel, Pathways Officer at SEED Foundation is not surprised that Bria was selected as a finalist for these awards.

“Bria is very motivated and passionate about dental, helping her community and also giving back to her community.”


 “She’s become so much more confident being around patients all the time and having to liaise with management. It’s definitely helped her leadership skills.”

Studying this certificate and attending a Griffith University camp as a Connect ‘n’ Grow graduate in 2016 is what first inspired Bria to pursue a career of dentistry.  

“I was exposed to many different areas of health and lo and behold I realised that dentistry was where I wanted to be.”


Bria is proud of her Aboriginal heritage and grateful for the opportunity to work in an industry that benefits the health and well-being of Indigenous people. Bria works at the TAIHS clinic every Wednesday, gaining practical hands on experience including dental assistance, sterilising equipment, observing procedures and general housekeeping.

MAX Indigenous mentor Luke Hunter worked closely with Bria to determine the right job-fit, find an inclusive employer and offers continued support throughout her current traineeship. He says the combination of Bria’s employer, Rachel from SEED Foundation and Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator Sarah Jane have paved the way for Bria. 

”Winning the Queensland Training Awards is a massive achievement and I am excited in moving forward with Bria's career development plan.”  


What’s next for Bria? After completing her Certificate III Bria will be in the fast lane to university, hoping to attend Griffith University and become a fully qualified dentist. 

MAX Employment connects Indigenous mentors to local schools to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander year 11 and 12 students. Students select the vocation they want to pursue and the mentor will link them with a registered training organisation and employer. For more information contact 1800 625 350 or email luke.hunter@maxsolutions.com.au.  

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